According to the U.S. Government, more than 70% of smokers want to quit. As a smoker, you may be part of that group, but you know as well as the rest that it can be quite difficult. Maybe you’re also one of the millions of Americans who have made a resolution to quit each New Year, but was unsuccessful. When the clock strikes midnight and you extinguish your last smoke, be confident that this New Year will be your successful year of being tobacco-free. Feeling overwhelmed? Here are some tips:
Be Ready for Change
If you’re not ready to quit or have no interest, you may not be ready to become tobacco-free for the New Year. Making a resolution requires commitment to change, even if you feel a little unsure you, need to be willing to accept change. Additionally, you need to make sure you’re positive about making change. Say things like, “I’m going to be successful” rather than “I’ll probably fail”; perspective and attitude is everything.
Have a Resolution Plan
A tobacco-free resolution takes some planning. Many former smokers found that quitting cold turkey worked the best, but it may not be for every smoker who wants to quit. Devise a plan, either find one online, talk with a family member or friend, or get resources from your doctor, and do your best to stick with it. If there’s a part of the plan that doesn’t work, fix the plan to work for you. Always choose a plan that seems reasonable. It may be difficult, but if it seems doable you’re more likely to keep going.
Change Your Coping Habits
Many smokers use tobacco to cope with stressors, which can make it extremely difficult to ditch cigarettes. If you’re planning on making a commitment to quit, you’ll need to explore different ways to cope (and how to cope with quitting). Whether you journal your progress, start exercising, or meditate, choose a coping mechanism that is healthy and will aid in your progress.
Be Kind to Yourself
Like any habit, you may slip up. Rather than beating yourself up about having a cigarette, move on and remember that tomorrow is a new day. When you are tracking your progress, make sure to reward yourself for all of your successes (maybe buy yourself something nice with the money you saved on not buying cigarettes). Keep a positive attitude and ask for support from your friends and family. Don’t give up, this can be your year to be tobacco-free!